Thursday, January 24, 2013

Christmas gift cards

I have 3 adult daughters, one in college the other 2 are living in their own homes. It's pretty easy to find gifts for the two older daughters as they live close and I am good at listening for hints. When I asked my youngest daughter (21) what she wanted for Christmas she said something to this effect "food, I'm a poor broke college student". So true, but wrapping up a month's worth or groceries isn't very practical. I decided to buy a few of her favorite treats and attach gift cards to Target (they have food now) and a few other fun places.

How do you disguise your gift cards?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

De-junking my body...21day cleanse

A few months ago one of my nieces posted that she was going to do a 21 day cleanse. That's crazy, I thought, but I was intrigued. I didn't want to commit to 21 days (what a chicken) so I did a 3 day detox a la Dr. Oz. it was rough, I felt like crap (toxins leaving my body/withdrawal symptoms) and craved protein. Afterwards I felt great. I decided to continue to have a green smoothie once a day and limit processed food.

Let me interrupt my story and mention that I've been suffering from inflammation in both hands for 3 years, to the point of not knitting for over a year. My doctor had suggested that I eliminate sugars and gluten from my diet as they may be contributing to my hand inflammation. I thought that was crazy too, I've been eating this stuff all of my life, why would I suddenly have a problem with sugars and gluten...oh yeah, I'm getting older, stuff starts to break down, that could be it.

My niece posted that she was going to do the 21 day detox again, right after the New Years. Anyone interested? Yuppers, I'm interested.

I checked out the rules and thought, I can do this. No sugars or sweeteners except stevia. No gluten...none! No dairy and no meat for the first 10 days.

I do have protein mixes at least 2 times a day and all of the veggies I can eat plus fruit (2 times more veggies than fruit).

I can do this! At day 11 you can add in fish or chicken for the remaining 10 days.

Well, it's day 15 and I'm pleased to say that it's going well. The inflammation in my hands has subsided to the point of me not noticing it. I even started to knit again...I'm sharing my story not because I intend on converting you, just wanted to say...

I STARTED TO KNIT AGAIN! I can hardly believe it.

Enough ranting, here's a recipe I am enjoying.

Spiced Lentils

2 cups lentils
1/2 onion, diced
1 diced fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon toasted fennel seed, ground
1 teaspoon toasted coriander seed, ground
1 bay leaf

Soak the lentils in water for 10 minutes. Rinse and pick through for stones. Coat the bottom of a pot with a generous layer of extra virgin olive oil. Sweat the onion and fennel until tender. Season with salt. Add garlic and spices and continue to cook for one minute. Add lentils and water to cover. Simmer until lentils are tender. If needed, more water
I cook mine down to resemble refried beans, about 45 minutes

You can find more lentil recipes here...I really enjoy the sweetness of the onions, we usually fry them up with some chopped up bacon. Salt and Pepper and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.